Pros: Impressive tonal balance, lots of detail retrieval, metal construction, excellent cable, good eartips, great case, extended bass, good earhooks
Cons: Jack lacks appropriate stress relief, too large for petite ears
Simgot EN700 Bass Review: Now That's How You Iterate Your Flagship!
When I reviewed the original Simgot EN700 I was less than impressed. The mediocre fit combined with the incredibly average performance for the price left me with a very “we’re new at this” kind of taste in my mouth. Thankfully, the engineers at Simgot did not sit by idly and have been working hard at improving their flagship. The culmination of their efforts now lies before us: The EN700 Bass. Even the name is a testament to the original EN700’s biggest failure: its lack of bass. However, does the new revision fix the originals flaws, or has the pendulum of change swung too far?
Disclaimer: This unit was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Penon Audio or Simgot beyond this review. These words reflect my true, unaltered, opinion about the product.
Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.
My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.
Source: The EN700 Bass was powered like so:
Nexus 6P -> earphones
Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones
HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones
PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones
All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.
The EN700 Bass played nice with all my sources, and didn’t change too much when used on cold or warm sources. As such, I did most of my testing on my most linear setup, the AP100 -> FiiO A5.
I will be referring to the EN700 Bass and EN700 interchangeably. If I am referencing the original EN700, I’ll specify as such.
The first thing I thought after sitting down with these IEMs is “now this is a hype train I can get behind!”. However, I’ve been resting the urge to do so, as I do not want to start something that will spiral out of control, much like the hype train behind the original EN700. The EN700 Bass is very well balanced in terms of emphasis. The treble extends well, and is matched with the upper-mids, inching ever so slightly in front of them. The lower mids are matched to the upper-mids with a slight de-emphasis on the lower frequencies of the group, while the mid and sub-bass are matched to each-other very well, sitting right behind the lower-mids.
The treble has been re-balanced on the EN700 Bass. Gone is the slightly-grating upper frequency of the OG EN700. In its stead I am greeted with a well-balanced, naturally toned, well extended treble.
This change is especially evident in Nero’s single, Satisfy. This song is pretty sibilant on a lot of setups, and was slightly so on the OG EN700. There is no hint of sibilance now, and you can hear everything quite well without perforating your eardrums.
High-hats and cymbals resolve very well on the EN700 Bass. Attack and decay feel natural and well-toned. Inter-treble separation (separation between various elements that all live within the treble) is well above average, which is surprising, as the EN700 Bass isn’t a treble-cannon. General treble separation (the separation between the treble and other parts of sound) is quite good as well. There’s no bleed into the upper mids.
The EN700’s mids have been re-tuned as well. The lower-mids have been buffed a bit, making them feel more full overall. There’s no real warmth to the sound, but that doesn’t stop the music from having a complete and inviting feel to it.
The guitars of Flagpole Sitta and Jacked Up sounded really good. The upper mids are, in my opinion where this IEM really shines. You hear so much detail, and the timbre is almost perfect. In the $110 range, I’m not sure I could find an IEM with more micro-detail retrieval in my current collection.
Vocals have been boosted a bit, but subtly so, such that the vocals do not end up “separated” from the rest of the sound while still remaining clear. Articulation is above average. Combine that with the great soundstage of the new EN700 and you have a recipe for a really immersive experience. Chris Cornell’s vocals in I Am The Highway had a really good timbre to them. Similarly, the vocals from Jacked Up and Dreams were in peak form when being played through the EN700 Bass.
The biggest complaint from many users of the original EN700 was its lack of fullness (i.e, lack of bass). Thankfully, this has been completely resolved. I was worried that Simgot would give into the Pendulum Effect and make the bass too strong on their new IEM, ruining the great foundation that they had lain down with the original EN700. Now the bass is present and dynamic, getting out of the way when it isn’t needed, and kicking into gear when it is.
Acoustic songs that use bass guitars sound quite good on the new EN700 as the bass guitars are well defined, quick, and intelligible. While it’s not as in-your-face as the Rose Cappuccino Mk. II, the EN700 bass does a good job making appropriate, and more importantly, accurate, emphasis on the bass.
The EN700 Bass is a viable IEM for mixed-genre music libraries that include both rock/acoustic songs and electronic songs. While listening to Gold Dust I got a good sense of impact and rumble from the EN700 Bass. It’s not at bass-cannon levels, but it is satisfying enough that I would definitely consider using the it as a daily driver.
Sub-bass manipulation on the EN700 is above-average. It extends decently far down towards the 40Hz range, but simply doesn’t have the “I’m listening to this song through a real sub-woofer” feeling to it, and that’s alright. The EN700 Bass, despite its name, isn’t intended for bass-heads. This is evident while listening to In For The Kill. While the song wasn’t bad sounding per say, it just didn’t have that special feeling in it that you can get from a warmer IEM.
Packaging / Unboxing
The EN700 Bass’s packaging is simply, elegant, and functional. It is identical in structure and content to the original EN700’s, and that’s not a bad thing in my books.
The EN700 Bass’s construction is quite good. As an engineer myself, I tend to notice some of the ways that the Simgot team put effort into perfecting those tiny details, and there’s a couple instances where the engineering truly shines. While there are certainly flaws, they aren’t catastrophic.
Let’s start with the driver housing. The EN700 uses lightweight brushed-aluminum with a semi-matte finish. The housing itself is externally composed of four plates: the bottom plate which has the nozzle, the face-plate, the grill, and the grill’s buffer. Each of these are made from metal, though the grill appears to be a zinc-based alloy (speculation based on texture and hardness). Underneath the grill is a colored fabric, slightly reminiscent of 1960’s utility carpet in texture.
The cable is non-detachable and is secured via a hard plastic bend. On this bend is printed either ‘L’ or ‘R’ depending on the side you are looking at. The cool part about this (if you are into structural and materials engineering) is that Simgot used the plastic sheath of the ear-hook as the stress relief for the cable-to-housing connection. The ear-hook travels about 3/4 of the way into the plastic bend where it is then glued into place. This should really add durability to the joint.
The cable itself is like no cable I’ve seen before. It is a 4-core copper cable that utilizes a chain-link pattern. The cores themselves are covered in plastic and are very thin. The chain-link pattern is pretty great though, structurally and visually. The cable is pretty resistant to pulling forces, but might have a hard time dealing with twisting forces above the Y-split, so do your best to limit its exposure. There are little-to-no microphonics thanks to this design, and the cable will coil easily.
The cable terminates in a 3.5mm jack housed in the same brushed aluminum as the driver housings. Extending from the jack is a translucent piece of plastic which is supposed to act as stress relief. The only problem with that is the cable is so articulate that it can be pulled at dangerous angles well before the plastic gives and begins to take on some of that stress. Reworking this plastic is crucial in extending the life of this cable. While I doubt this will seriously harm the life-expectancy of the EN700 Bass, I think it’s worth being aware about.
The EN700 Bass is comfortable, but not nearly as much as, say, the Heir 4Ai S or Rose Aurora. The housings are light, but they are a little north of normal in terms of size. Insertion depth is generally pretty deep, and I didn’t have to use any other tips than the ones that came with the EN700 Bass to find a good seal.
Simgot stocked the EN700 Bass with nearly identical accessories as the original EN700. Inside the box you’ll find:
- 1x leather carrying case
- 1x cleaning brush
- 6x pairs of extra silicone eartips
- 1x 3.5mm jack cover
I really liked the selection of eartips, not because of how many there were, but because of how well they fit in my ears. It’s not often I don’t have to resort to Comply eartips, so when I don’t I’m grateful. While some foam eartips would be nice, in this case, I don’t think they are needed.
The case is quite good, and is among my favorites in terms of design. The material appears to be real leather, but even if it isn’t I’m not that mad. It’s quite nice, and the bronze-colored finish and stitching give it a real classy look. Emblazoned on the front you’ll find the Simgot logo, and on the back you’ll find the phrase “Salute to Art and Science”. Tasteful.
The Simgot EN700 is the perfect example of how manufacturers should iterate their IEMs. Simgot managed to improve on their physical design, make three appealing color choices, and settle many of the major complaints brought to the table about the original EN700’s sound signature. Needless to say, the synthesis of these components has made the EN700 Bass one of my favorite ~$100 IEMS.
This review was originally featured on Resonance Reviews.